Since our inception in 1998, LightRiver has been working behind the scenes, diligently supporting service providers across the industry. As the landscape has shifted towards automation and software-driven infrastructure, we’ve adapted, expanding the company’s role beyond design and deployment to become a vital player in network operation.
Year after year, our team has proven LightRiver’s ability to not only keep up with industry transformations but also lead the way with expertise and foresight. 2023 was a shining example of this, marked by notable achievements, strategic collaborations, and a forward-thinking approach to network operations.
One of the most notable focal points of the year was a significant leadership transition as we proudly welcomed Mike Jonas as LightRiver’s new Chief Executive Officer, succeeding the esteemed founder, Glenn Johansen. Under Glenn’s leadership, LightRiver has grown into a market and technology leader, and we are confident in Mike’s passion and ability to continue driving this successful business to greater heights.
Throughout this blog, as we call out key highlights of this successful year, Mike sheds light on the company’s evolution and its unwavering commitment to supporting customers in their network operations.
A Year of Progress and Innovation
2023 saw LightRiver’s evolution from being a design and deployment partner to delving deeper into the operation and maintenance of networks. Underlining this was LightRiver’s inclusion in the Open XR Forum, a consortium dedicated to advancing coherent optical solutions. The collaboration aimed to harness XR optics pluggable transceiver technology, ushering in high-bandwidth, software-defined coherent optics from the network core to the edge.
“LightRiver was delighted to partner in this important technology initiative. XR technology changes the network economics for many operators, and netFLEX automation will help ensure technical versatility and operational simplicity.” — Mike Jonas
In a groundbreaking move, LightRiver introduced netFLEX® as a service (nFaaS), offering a cost-effective, private cloud-hosted model in North America and Europe. Ideal for enterprises and data centers with small to medium networks, nFaaS provides a unified view of transport networks within a secure and scalable environment, accelerating Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) and driving automation. LightRiver also unveiled the netFLEX 4.7.1 platform, expanding its Open Optical support for multi-vendor and multi-technology automation.
“We are doubling down on the commitment to support our customers in their network operations. Clients can now acquire network intelligence, monitor their networks, and even delegate troubleshooting and analysis.” – Mike Jonas
Additionally, LightRiver published a white paper emphasizing the advantages of utilizing multi-vendor middleware for accelerated network automation and innovation.
Collaboration was a key theme for LightRiver in 2023, with strategic partnerships aimed at transforming optical network management in South America. For example, LightRiver and Precision Solutions partnered to transform optical network management in South America, leveraging LightRiver’s netFLEX® solution. With over 20 years of experience, Precision Solutions met customer demands for a versatile, vendor-agnostic platform, allowing customized optical network management without vendor lock-in.
“We are honored to work with Precision Solutions and expand our netFLEX offering on a greater global scale. Our award-winning netFLEX serves as an essential tool for companies worldwide, ensuring customers’ success with optical networking and management.” – Mike Jonas
LightRiver’s engagement with Douglas Fast Net (DFN) to future-proof its regional backbone further demonstrated the company’s commitment to long-term network capacity and innovation. The project utilized the patented Factory Built Network® Process for rapid and predictable network deployment.
Industry Expertise and Engagement
Throughout the year, LightRiver participated in several industry events, including but not limited to PTC’23, Metro Connect, International Telecoms Week, the Oregon Connections 2023 Conference, NANOG 89, several UTC events, SCTE Cable-Tec, and the Optical Internetworking Forum’s showcase at ECOC 2023 in Glasgow. The company’s presence at these events reflects our commitment to networking, learning, and collaboration within the industry.
Demonstrating both collaboration and expertise, LightRiver and Infinera also exhibited jointly at Fiber Connect 2023, resulting in a successful multi-vendor interoperability technology demonstration. The demonstration showcased the efficiency of LightRiver’s netFLEX along with Infinera’s intelligent coherent pluggable technology, providing substantial improvements in network efficiency and enabling high-speed business services.
“At FiberConnect there was a proof of concept where we brought six vendors together under netFLEX in a fiber-to-the-home configuration that earned Most Innovative PoC award recognition at the show.” – Mike Jonas
In the media space, LightRiver’s Vice President of Sales & Support Engineering, Tim Masse, contributed an article to Pipeline magazine. The article explored the concept of multi-vendor middleware, showcasing how it enhances network operations’ efficiency and agility.
Telecom Ramblings featured Mike Jonas in an Industry Spotlight article. Jonas shed light on LightRiver’s path ahead, emphasizing the introduction of netFLEX-as-a-Service, intelligent automation, and the incorporation of Artificial Intelligence to streamline processes.
Mike also spoke to JSA TV about his new CEO role, reflecting on his 20+ years with LightRiver.
Looking Ahead: A Promise of Continued Excellence
As we bid farewell to a remarkable 2023, LightRiver stands at the forefront of the industry, poised for even greater strides in 2024. The commitment to supporting clients in our network operations, coupled with a proactive approach to addressing industry challenges, positions LightRiver as a trusted partner in navigating the complexities of modern network integration.
“You can trust us to find an innovative way to solve your network problem. Those network problems might be wider than they used to be, or they might be deeper than they used to be, but we’re wider and deeper than we used to be, too. And we’re going to be there to help.” – Mike Jonas
As LightRiver continues our journey of innovation, adaptation, and excellence, we eagerly anticipate the unfolding chapters of success in the coming year. Here’s to a promising 2024, where LightRiver’s commitment to redefining network solutions continues to make waves in this remarkable industry.